- Blue Origin intends to send tourists past the so-called Karman line.
- The billionaire race for space is big business.
- The trip is the culmination of a 20-year journey for Bezos with his company, Blue Origin.
VAN HORN, Texas – Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin rocket crew blasted off Tuesday from the West Texas desert, reached space and returned to Earth with a smooth parachute landing minutes later.
“Happy, happy, happy!” Jeff Bezos said from space. “You have a very happy crew up here!”
The crew of the New Shepard rocket was treated to spectacular views of Earth along with three or four minutes of weightlessness. The booster rocket touched down smoothly about seven minutes after liftoff. The craft containing the astronauts landed with parachutes a few minutes later. The exultant group climbed out of the capsule to hugs from family and friends.
“Best day ever,” Bezos said after landing.
Bezos launched not only a quick trip to space but what the world’s richest man hopes will be a profitable business. Blue Origin, Bezos’ space tourism company, plans two more flights this year alone. Tuesday’s flight marked the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
“Congratulations to all of Team Blue past and present on reaching this historic moment in spaceflight history,” Blue Origin tweeted. “This first astronaut crew wrote themselves into the history books of space, opening the door through which many after will pass.”
Richard Branson and his Virgin…